The tech world is familiar with many gambles based on mergers and acquisitions. One such possible gamble is the acquisition of Skype by Microsoft. The leader of Skype foresees a world in which video communication becomes a part of everyday life. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer believes Skype’s well known brand is a valuable asset and will be a jumping off point to improve the way people around the world connect. Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype officially closed today.
Skype’s former leader, Tony Bates, will become the president of Microsoft’s Skype division, and Bates will report directly to Steve Ballmer. Microsoft’s business plan for Skype does not offer any immediate changes to the service but will later integrate the technology of Skype into a variety of products offered by Microsoft.
Skype has helped changed the way and the ease with which people around the globe communicate. Skype is the standard for video-calling across the internet and has greatly contributed to the rise of people using their laptops as video phones. Not only has Skype offered video calls, it has offered easy-to-use long-distance audio calls as well. Video calls make-up just over 40 percent of Skype-to-Skype minutes used by customers. Every day people log around 300 million minutes on Skype.
Microsoft acquired Skype in May for $8.5 billion. Because of concerns about monopoly, the deal had to be approved by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the European Commission. Both bodies approved the deal with the European Commission’s approval being the most recent.
Skype added an iPad app this year and has also recently added video calling to various Android phones. Skype will continue to be available on non-Microsoft platforms like Mac, Apple iOS and Android.
Source: pcmag.com, “Skype now officially part of Microsoft,” Chloe Albanesius, Oct. 14, 2011